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  • Forced marriages law change

    by Sunny
    24th July, 2008 at 11:37 am    

    Announced yesterday. Haven’t had a chance to think this through. Thoughts?

    Rumbold adds: A good summary here.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Culture,Current affairs,South Asia

    14 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Boyo — on 24th July, 2008 at 1:08 pm  

      Gosh, what with this and benefits reform it seems like Labour if finally rediscovering its progrssive socialist identity. I’m beginning to actually consider voting for them again. Considering.

    2. Amrit — on 24th July, 2008 at 1:20 pm  

      Sounds good to me, especially this bit (from Rumbold’s summary):

      ‘Any British citizen applying to “sponsor” someone to come to Britain as their spouse will have to declare their intention before they leave and marry abroad.’

      As long as this HAS to be done by the person getting married and cannot be hijacked by parents, relatives or siblings, that sounds like a very effective way to fight the forcing-people-abroad-to-forcibly-marry-them problem.

    3. ashik — on 24th July, 2008 at 3:53 pm  

      Any British citizen applying to “sponsor” someone to come to Britain as their spouse will have to declare their intention before they leave and marry abroad.

      What if the urge to marry in a foreign land is spur of the moment (as it often is for innocent reasons)?

      How long before these govt policies are deemed to breach human rights by the Courts?

    4. persephone — on 24th July, 2008 at 5:25 pm  

      on the face of it seems on the right path and perhaps, in time, the culture will catch up with the legislation

      @ 3 What if the urge to marry in a foreign land is spur of the moment (as it often is for innocent reasons)?

      Spontaneous, genuine romance will have to suffer I expect. Assume they will have to make another overseas visit whereby they state they want to get married in advance - who knows, it may be a good thing to think twice before getting married.

    5. sarah — on 24th July, 2008 at 6:47 pm  

      Good news for feminists!

    6. shariq — on 24th July, 2008 at 7:52 pm  

      why does this play automatically when either the home page or this page is opened?

    7. Rumbold — on 24th July, 2008 at 8:02 pm  

      This does seem like a good piece of legislation from the government- I suppose that there is a first time for everything.

    8. Leon — on 24th July, 2008 at 8:37 pm  

      The minimum wage not being something you support then?

    9. Rumbold — on 24th July, 2008 at 8:46 pm  

      I would rather businesses stayed in this country. However, the minimum wage is nothing compared to the costs imposed by UK/EU regulation, so it wasn’t an awful piece of legislation.

    10. Leon — on 24th July, 2008 at 10:08 pm  

      I would rather businesses stayed in this country.

      I’d rather people had a decent standard of living; happy workers are productive workers.;)

    11. MixTogether — on 24th July, 2008 at 10:31 pm  

      An excellent post, well presented.

      There can be no playing party politics with this issue, the current government has done well to bring a large degree of focus onto forced marriage and honour based crime, and to listen to knowledgeable workers in the field.

      The revised visa conditions are a simple and practical way of safeguarding vulnerable young women and men. This strategy is thankfully not as vulnerable to cries of ‘victimising minorities’ as the proposal for criminalising forced marriage was.

      Visa regulations alone will not stem the tide of forced marriages though. The government must ensure that the new guidelines for schools are fully implemented, and that ‘cultural sensitivity’ is not allowed to hamper sending a crystal-clear message to all schoolchildren that they have the absolute right to marry when, whom, and indeed if they choose.

      It is worth noting that the Conservatives have backed criminalising forced marriage, and also that this measure is fully supported by Jasvinder Sanghera and Karma Nirvana. Let us hope that the mainstream political parties continue a healthy round of one-upmanship in getting tough on this issue.

      In the end, the only minority whose rights must prevail in cases of forced marriage is a minority of just ONE: the individual who is at risk.

      Forced marriage must be stamped out. That end justifies any means necessary, certainly any means that any of the main parties will have the courage to propose.

    12. douglas clark — on 25th July, 2008 at 7:26 pm  

      shariq @ 6,

      It is bloody annoying, in’t it?

    13. DR1001 — on 26th July, 2008 at 3:37 am  

      “Other measures announced Wednesday include asking foreign spouses to agree to learn English before coming to Britain ”

      ok im sorry if this seems a bit ‘obvious’ to some but im a little confused .
      Does the statement above mean they have to know english before getting to the UK or once in the UK?
      If it’s actually before coming, i wonder if there will be a huge rise in the number of schools that teach english abroad…hmm a lucrative business

      The legislation is a step in the right direction..

    14. Morten — on 5th August, 2008 at 6:31 pm  

      The “24-years rule” is rapidly changing the entire immigrant culture in Denmark these years. It means you can’t bring in your spouse until you are 24.

      It works. Copy it, Britain, for the sake of solidarity among Europeans (the so-called “EU” is after this particular rule).

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